welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. voters in tokyo have chosen a former cabinet minister to lead them after an election fought over the economy and nuclear power. toyota motor executives have announced they will stop making cars in australia, blaming a strong currency and high costs for the decision. and as more markets selling fresh produce sprout up across
japan, some are finding unique ways to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. the newly elected governor of tokyo toich chi masuzoe is gearing up to take office loiter this week. one of the priorities of his administration will be to repair the damage caused last year by the resignation of his predecessor. >> translator: the people's trust in tokyo's administration has been severely undermined by a scandal involving the previous governor. i will do my best to restore public trust. i must never forget i'm working for the people of tokyo. >> masuzoe wants sub day's gubernatorial election with more than 2.1 million votes. he is a former health minister and has also worked as a tv commentator. masuzoe will replace naoki inose, who resigned late last year over a money scandal. he has pledged to work with the
metropolitan government and assembly to improve the capital's social security situation and its disaster preparedness. >> translator: i hope the new governor will build more retirement homes. it's a pressing matter that needs to be dealt with. >> translator: i want the new governor to make the tokyo olympic games a success. >> masuzoe will begin work on wednesday. for many voters, masuzoe was already a familiar face. nhk world has the story. >> masuzoe is a well-known figure not only in tokyo but across japan. many japanese know him for his appearances in the media commenting on international affairs as a scholar. masuzoe was elected to the diet in 2001, when more than 1.5 million voters wrote his name on the ballot. he went on to become health minister. now masuzoe has the backing of
prime minister shinzo abe, and supporters of the ruling parties and labor unions rallied behind him. masuzoe has the backing of another former prime minister koizumi. they're opposed to the central government's policy of restarting nuclear reactors. another candidate also argued that nuclear power should be abandoned. they ended up splitting the anti-nuclear vote. nhk conducted exit polls, asks voters about their first priority in choosing a new governor. 22% of respondents said they focused on the candidates' policies on energy, including nuclear power. but the poll suggested more voters, more than 30%, made their judgments because of candidates' positions on the economy, and employment, masuzoe got the most votes among those who chose this as their reason. prime minister shinzo abe was watching to see how voters reacted to these appeals to
abandon nuclear power. and you can imagine he's relieved that the people making those arguments did not win. he's seen candidates supported by the ruling parties go down to defeat over the past year in a number of local elections. but he has to remember, many japanese are still against restarting nuclear reactors. abe and his colleagues are also looking ahead to the 2020 olympics and paralympics in tokyo. organizers have a lot of work to do. and the prime minister doesn't want any disagreements between the two levels of government to get in the way. >> and that was nhk world's mayuko ambe. >> toyota has had a strong year. in australia they're slated to end production. ron madison has that. >> automakers have to weigh the costs versus the benefit when operating these costs overseas. they can have a huge impact on their bottom lines which looks like australia is not all that
attractive these days, gene. toyota motor has announce it will end making cars in australia by 2017. company officials say production has become difficult due to the country's strong currency, and high labor costs. >> we have now had to make the painful decisions, the end of production of cars by the end of 2017. >> president akio toyoda noted that the share of imports in australia has been rising because of the strength of the local currency, creating a tough market environment. now, toyota makes about 100,000 vehicles a year in melbourne. company officials said they will help their 4,000 employees to find new jobs. in australia, ford motor have already decided to halt production in 2016, and general motors in 2017. toyota's decision means that there will be no companies making cars in australia after 2017. let's get a check of the markets now. european equities continuing to rebound today from recent
losses. investors there cheered by a dip in the latest u.s. jobless rate. so nonfarm payrolls did fall a bit short of market expectations. see how things are looking now in europe. most markets turned up right now at least with the majors. london is up by a tenth of a percent. paris is up about a quarter percent. now many asia markets finished higher. tok tokyo's mick kay rose to a one-week high. china is set to release some key economic data this week including trade numbers which are due out on wednesday. let's see what's going on in currencies. dollar/yen at 102.15 roughly. analysts say some traders are taking profits in the dollar, after the u.s. currency reached the upper 102 yen level in early tokyo trading. but many participants waiting for the fed chair janet yellen to testify before congress tuesday. they're looking to see how strong she thinks the u.s. economic recovery is.
meanwhile euro/yen right around 139.26. japanese officials are seeing the current account shrink. they have reported its smallest current account surplus ever. finance ministry officials reported a surplus of $32.4 billion for 2013. that's down 31.5% in yen terms from the previous year. the foreign income account registered a surplus but the trade account logged the largest deficit ever. imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas rose as the country's nuclear plants stayed offline. sluggish growth in shipments of electronic appliances kept exports weak. janine's current account surplus has now declined for the third straight year. the amount of black ink is only about an eighth of the peak level in 2007. and japan's consumer confidence fell in january for the second straight month. that is ahead of the consumption tax hike in april. the cabinet office said on monday that the index for the month stood at 40.5 among households with two or more
people. that's down 0.8 points from december. the index measures sentiment among consumers for the coming six months. confidence and labor conditions improved, but overall livelihood and income growth declined. the index for willingness to buy durable goods fell to its lowest level since may 2011. the drop likely reflects reluctance to buy home appliances and other products after the consumption tax hike. economists kept their overall assessment of the index unchanged, though. they said consumer confidence appears to be at a standstill. but they added the dip may be temporary, and they're waiting now for more figures to come in. and business sentiment among japanese workers also dipped in january. the index fell for the first time in three months. the cabinet office polled more than 2,000 people, mainly in the service sector. things like taxi drivers, and retail shop owners. the sentiment slipped one point from the previous month to 54.7. companies and factories seemed to be taking a breather after
they increased their production before that national sales tax increase. people seem to be spending a bit less at restaurants and supermarkets trying to save more. the outlook index for economic conditions also fell by 5.7 points, marking two straight months of decline. all right that is going to wrap it up for biz tonight. let's see how things are looking on the markets.
south korea defense officials say they'll give the go-ahead for planned military drills with the united states, despite objections from pyongyang. south korea has informed the north that the annual exercises will start on february 24th. more than 200,000 south korean troops and about 13,000 u.s. personnel will participate in the drills. they would include field maneuvers and computer based simulations. north korea threatens to cancel planned family reunions if the drills take place. the two koreas agreed to organize next week the reunion of families separated since the korean war in the 1950s. in separate developments, the u.s. state department says it's disappointed by north korea's decisions to withdraw an invitation to american envoy robert king. kings was to visit pyongyang to ask for the release of kenneth bae, a korean-american detainee. it's the second time the north
has withdrawn an invitation to king at short notice. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is making diplomatic stops in south korea and china this week. state department says he will start a four-nation trip on thursday, including indonesia, and the united arab emirates. kerry will reaffirm close coordination with south korean leaders about potential military provocations from north korea. he's also expected to press government officials to improve ties with japan. he has said it's important for the three countries to work together to deal with north korea. kerry is also expected to discuss the issue with leaders in beijing. u.s. officials have said they welcome the rise of a peaceful china that plays a positive role in world affairs. last week u.s. assistant secretary of state daniel russell criticized the country's unilateral creation of an air defense identification zone over the east china sea. he called it a serious step in the wrong direction. he also said the nation's claims of jurisdiction over most of
south china sea would be inconsistent with international law. kerry apparently aims to urge officials to emphasize restraint in maritime affairs. leaders in beijing say chinese soldiers will, for the first time, take part in a multinational drill in thailand led by u.s. forces. defense ministry officials say 17 military personnel will join the exercise code named cobra gold. they will engage in humanitarian relief activities. the 11-day drill will start on tuesday. japan, south korea, indonesia and other countries will take part. chinese commanders also plan to send a hospital ship and other vessels to a multinational naval drill off hawaii this summer. the u.s.-led biennial exercise is called rim-pac. analysts say the nation is trying to stress the transparency of its forces and the military buildup is raising concerns among neighboring countries. the olympics in sochi are only a few days old, but the organizers of the next winter
games in south korea are already busy promoting their event. 150 members of the organizing committee have headed to sochi. they've set up a building to showcase their games and held an event there over the weekend to introduce their culture to visitors. south koreans are looking for ideas that might help them as they prepare to host the games. nhk world's anna jong has more. >> reporter: people around the world are following the winter games in sochi. but skiers at this resort are paying particular close attention. >> translator: i'm so excited to have the olympic games come here. we have waited for this opportunity for a long time. i hope our country can become a lot stronger in winter sports. >> reporter: it's one of the leading winter resorts known by many for its ski slopes that appeared in the popular tv series winter sonata. the rural town has a population
of a little over 40,000. and it's about a three-hour drive from seoul. >> pyeongchang. >> reporter: they won the right to host the olympics in their third try. almost 90% of people living in south korea supported the bid. >> translator: i hope residents and merchants will have more chances to study english. >> reporter: pyeongchang has a lot to offer athletes in 2018. weather conditions in february are expected to be ideal for competition. three of south korea's 17 ski resorts are in the region. sports facilities already built are compact and highly concentrated allowing for easy access. they're all designed to preserve the natural terrain as much as possible. this ski jump venue is one of
pyeongchang's landmarks. the hills are 125 meters, and 98 meters high, and they're built using the natural slope of the mountains so the athletes can be left affected by the wind. >> translator: our committee members in sochi are learning about facilities, accommodations, logistics, and management so we can succeed in pyeongchang. >> reporter: people here are showing their olympic excitement at a snow festival to coincide with the opening of the sochi games. >> translator: it's great you have the chance to ski here in pyeongchang where the games will be held in four years. >> reporter: for government leaders, the race is now on. pyeongchang has some major
drawbacks. there are few tourist attractions to lure visitors from abroad. they will have to make major improvements to the public transportation system. they also need to prepare more than 100,000 rooms in the next three years. many are now learning new languages, and also how to prepare foreign meals. >> translator: i have remodeled all the rooms and the exterior and i got permission to construct a special lounge so that foreign visitors will have a place to relax. >> reporter: it will be pyeongchang's turn to welcome the world in four years. officials here have done a lot to prepare, but there is still a lot of work left to do. anna junk, nhk world, pyeongchang.
people gathered at a high school in western japan to remember those who were killed when a u.s. navy submarine rammed a training vessel 13 years ago. a boat from uwajima fisheries high school the ehime maru sank off hawaii after it was struck by the "uss greenville." nine japanese, including students, died in the accident. 8:43 a.m. was the exact time the two vessels struck. a golden bell recovered from the sunken boat was rung nine times. people present deserved a moment of silence. >> translator: we will hand down the story of the accident to future generations of students,
so it is never forgotten. >> participants offered a chrysanthemum, and a prayer, for the victims. people in japan are noticing a tasty trend in communities across the country. more and more so-called farm markets are sprouting up. there were 17,000 of them at last count. customers love the cheaper prices, and the fresh produce. managers of one market have found a way to ensure their apples are crisper, and greens even greener. >> reporter: every year, more than 1 million people pull in to this car park north of tokyo. this is one of japan's busiest farm markets. last year it sold over $5 million worth of produce. there's a huge variety of fruit and vegetables. all sourced from 150 local farms. the big draw is price. most items cost 10% less than in
ordinary supermarkets. >> translator: there's such a great variety. i shop in many different places, but i always end up coming back here. >> reporter: the sook rhett to the market's success? great selection of produce that's literally farm fresh. nothing is left to chance. each purchase is logged and analyzed at the cash register. the data is then sent direct to suppliers. farmers themselves. akime acada supplies more than 30 vegetables to the market. even out in the fields, she's kept in the loop. ♪ >> translator: it's from the farm market. >> reporter: each farmer gets data on their sales sent to them by text message once an hour. >> translator: 20 bunches of
chrysanthemum greens. i'll get some more straight away. >> reporter: right away, she starts pulling up more of the greens. she and her husband tie them in bunches, and then rush them over to the market. this is how the market always keeps its produce fresh, by adjusting supply to meet demand in realtime. >> translator: it's really encouraging to see how much i sow each day. it's great. >> reporter: this just in time supply system was set up by the market's manager uzuru matsumoto. he has overseen a sharp rise in business. in the past five years the number of visitors has risen by over 25%. >> reporter: we try to look at it from the customer's point of view, and give them the service they want. we're always looking to improve the way we do things.
>> reporter: there's another factor that helps to motivate the farmers. the market lets the growers set their own prices for their produce. it takes just a 15% commission. everything else goes to farmers. the farmers coordinate closely with the market staff in deciding which vegetables to grow. >> translator: as for spinach between december 27th and the 31st we were about 300 kilograms short. trvz i'm thinking of selling some after my tomatoes. if i put in 200 to 300 square meters, that should be about right. >> reporter: holding regular meetings like this has changed the way the farmers think about their crops. makoto watanabe started working
the land seven years ago. he now grows six kinds of carrots. most of these are new varieties that he'd never thought of before. >> translator: it's really fun coming up with new products to sell, and ways to create a market for them. >> translator: i think the producers feel much more involved as participants in this business. >> reporter: from the field to the market, and then straight to customers, it's an approach that works for everyone. a series of storms are having an effect on the uk and other parts of europe. our meteorologist robert speta has more on this >> gentlemen yes, gene. that is the number one thing to keep in mind in this situation. it is a series of storm systems,
not just one in particular. the problem is, we have been seeing these one after another, and it's been causing some serious flooding out here. let's take a look at some video out of some are set here. just the most recent system coming ashore. you can see a railway washed out there and much of southwestern uk has had delayed rail service, or just completely shut off due to these winds up to 130 kilometers per hour, along with the high waves. the refer thames continues to rise today. you can see some of the floodwaters here. and unfortunately still severe flood warnings in effect. it does look like the river will continue to rise so a thousand people being told to evacuate out of some of these low-lying areas. so the storm system is still moving off. then we have another run coming right on the heels. that is the number one thing to keep in mind. the winds, and then yet more rainfall, falling on already saturated ground. so what that means is that when this rain starts to fall it's not going to soak into the ground. it's immediately going into those rivers and that accounts for yet more river flooding.
you see here in the southern portions of the british isles, still have the heavy rainfall out here. not just there, though, down towards france, over towards spain and portugal, you're continuing to look at some heavy rainfall. and higher elevations, 20 to 40 centimeters of snow expected. the white stuff along with this atlantic storm system continuing to come in, as well. another thing, high waves, up to 11 meters high possible coming out of this. western europe's getting it. but also over towards italy, and into the alpine regions, you're continuing to see some snowfall up there, with the high winds, and even some heavy rainfall coming out of this next system that's pushing across the mediterranean. temperatures in the west, some mild into the single digits and staying rather chilly off here towards the east. moscow zero there for your high with some snowfall in your forecast on monday. let's see what's going on over towards eastern asia. the big topic overs weekend was that snowstorm here in japan. tokyo saw some record-setting heavy snowfall. well now that system is now moving off towards the
northeast. still have the sea effect snow coming onshore across parts of hokkaido through toe heek u. sapporo you want it there. you have the snow festival coming on. that's a welcome sight. and then western japan a rain and snow mix in some of the higher elevations. mostly rain is moving across the coastline over here. nothing compared to saturday's storm system. and that one is going to continue to move off. high pressure working its way in behind it bringing some much drier and cooler skies across parts of korea over towards much of china. take a look at the temperatures out here, shanghai just in the single digits there for your high. cloudy skies there for you. beijing, sunny weather but just 1 there for your high. then to the tropics, thunderstorms there bangkok, partly cloudy skies. now let's take a look over towards the americas, and really while the western portions of the u.s., you've been seeing some rainfall out here, well needed, though. the southwest has been dealing with drought as of late. but the big topic going through midweek is going to be this low down here. it's bringing some rain showers
across the gulf coastline but it's expected to develop into another wintry storm system. widespread freezing rain across the gulf states even over towards the carolinas going in to your tuesday out here as the system continues to work off. there's some good news, towards the north and even into texas, we are seeing the temperatures slowly on a rise. not back to average, but it is getting there. here's the extended forecast.
syria are underway. they come after 10 days after the first round that achieved little more than getting both the regime and the opposition in the same room. swiss voters backed a proposal in favor of quotas for immigrants. france and the european union called the narrowly-past move worrying. barack obama and francois hollande write about their model relationship in an op-ed piece published today ahead of the state visit to the white house.